Texas de Brazil

Written by on December 19, 2011 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(texasdebrazil.com) – Fairfax, Virginia

How I heard of this place: Our friend, Seraj, invited Chris and I to dinner at a Chrrascaria, and when we were sent the reservation information the name Texas de Brazil came up!

Type of cuisine: “Texas de Brazil is an authentic Brazilian-American Churrascaria (steakhouse) that combines the cuisine of Southern Brazil with the generous spirit of Texas.” The website continues, “Treat yourself to our 50-60 item seasonal salad area including appetizers, gourmet vegetables, soups, and salads. Turn your place card green and prepare to be swarmed by a troop of carvers generously serving various cuts of seasoned beef, lamp, pork, chicken and Brazilian sausage, all accompanied by traditional side items and house-baked Brazilian cheese bread. As you dine endlessly on Brazilian fare, let one of our in-house wine connoisseurs select the perefct pairing from our extensive, award-winning wine lists, or sip on a freshly-made signature cocktail-the Caipirinha. Complete your dining experience with one of our meany decadent dessert selections, and then relax with an after-dinner drink, steaming espresso or hand-rolled cigar and enjoy the ambiance and service perfection that is uniquely Texas de Brazil.” The salad area includes four freshly made, in-house salad dressings, gourmet artisan breads, imported cheeses, as well as fresh buffalo mozzarella, steamed asparagus with strawberry sauce, Brazilian hearts of palm, grilled Portobello mushrooms, Greek olives, shrimp salad, imported Italian salamis, sauteed mushrooms, herbed sweet onions, pork black beans, jasmine rice, spicy surimi sushi, soup du jour and many other specialties, including garlic mashed potatoes, sweet fried bananas, Brazilian cheese bread, and house specialty meat sauces. The meats, a specialty of Texas de Brazil, are slow-roasted, seasoned cuts of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and Brazilian sausage, then cooked over an open flame grill. “This technique comes to the United States straight from Southern Brazil, where gouchos (cowboys) prepare meals over a campfireAt Texas de Brazil, the skilled servers journey through the restaurant with the grilled meats on sword-like skewers taken directly off the grill, stopping at each table to carve slices for diners. This style of service allows guests to experience a wide variety of offerings.”

Ambiance: Dimly lit and spacious! The first thought I had when walking in was, “Man, this place is HUGE!” Not long after, I began to notice the industrial-looking decor, pillars made of what seemed to be one-foot by one-foot steel bars extending from the floor to the tall ceilings. The knife and knife-sharpender logo on a square background, also in dark metal with simple cut-outs, could be found throughout the space, with red lighting behind to give an eerie and firey look to the churrascaria. Large spherical wrought iron chandeliers, resemgling a modern-day Saturn, with bare light bulbs hanging down inside could be found hanging high above the heads of diners. Dark wooden chairs at tables lined with white linen surround the expansive space, leaving little room for patrons to move freely throughout the establishment. The only lit area in the entire restaurant, (this one, set in the Fair Oaks Shopping Center) is the salad bar buffet, where an over-sized floral arrangement hangs directly above granite-topped counters (two levels) hosting an abundance of side dishes, including Romaine lettuce, spring salad mix and mixed field greens, shrimp salad, prosciutto, hand-rolled sushi, goat cheese terrine, a selection of in-house dressings (including chimichuri sauce!), sliced tomatoes, cherry and sun-dried tomatoes, large balls of Buffalo mozzarella, potato salad, Brazilian orzo/pasta salad, Marinated Portobellow mushrooms, caramelized sweet onions, black and green Manzanilla olives, red radish crowns, miniature beets, imported hearts of palm, tangy tabbouleh, artichoke hearts, grilled red peppers and grilled jalapeno peppers, grilled provolone cheese, pepper salami and aged French cheeses, steamed asparagus with a strawberry sauce, and probably more that is escaping me at the moment. The second bar top held all-you-can-eat hot foods such as potatoes au gratin, lobster bisque, fried baby mushrooms, farofa, feijoada (Brazilian black beans with pork) and white rice. Served tableside were a basket of mini balls of cheese bread and, fried bananas covered in cinnamon and sugar, as well as garlic mashed potatoes with herbs. While we dined and chatted, enjoying our appetizers, troops of Gauchos (carvers) roamed through the restaurant offering us choice cuts of beef, chicken, lamb, pork and sausage, all slowly spin-roasted and grilled over an open flame – viewable to diners through the large window behind the salad bar. Music played gently in the background and, even with the number of diners, the air was calm and the stirrings of music barely heard.

What I ordered: Of the options awarded us, I sampled the Romaine lettuce salad topped with crispy, large chunks of bacon, steamed asparagus and sauteed green beans with an herb dusting, a small teaspoonful of potato salad, orzo salad and tabbouleh, roasted jalapeno, shrimp salad, smoked salmon, grilled Provolone cheese, a slice of prosciutto, a slice of tomato with buffalo mozzarella, feijoada, sauteed mushrooms and potatoes au gratin. From the Gauchos, I enjoyed the Brazilian sausage, Brazilian picanha (my favorite!), slow-roasted leg of lamb, chicken breast wrapped in bacon, flank steak (a close second), signature garlic-marinated picanha, rack of lamp, pork ribs, braised beef ribs, filet mignon and filet mignon wrapped in bacon. The only things we missed or turned down were the crispy parmesan drummetts, the parmesan crusted pork loin and the herb-marinated pork loin. Chris selected a pineapple juice ($2.75), served in a goblet to start. Despite being stuffed to the gills with barely room to breathe, for dessert, we chose the Coconut Chess Pie a la mode with vanilla ice cream ($10.50) and the Papaya Cream ($8.25).

What I loved: Both Seraj and I agreed that the Brazilian picanha was the winner of the meat selection. I have a feeling Chris most enjoyed the bacon from the salad bar, but was quite happy to have partaken of everything else. The fried bananas were a huge winner, having requested at least four plates of them!

Why I loved it: Tons of delicious food, friendly Gauchos and great company!

Cost: High ($42.99 per person for all-you-can-eat Brazilian food, including meats and salad bar)

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